Shelley Moore – Bowling & Inclusion


So we need to show teachers why inclusion is important practically. Now there’s a question. Why is this important practically. So I’m going to tell you and tell you in 10 minutes. Do you believe me? You’re like, “I don’t know Shelly”. Okay. There is a metaphor that I realized; sleepless nights, that is the perfect example of showing people why inclusion matters, but practically. In a classroom, in school, in a staff room, in this room right now and it is bowling. What’s the goal of bowling? You want to knock down all the pins, or as many as you can. So if you want to knock down the pins, or as many as you can, sometimes you roll it down the aisle and you get them all and that feels awesome and sometimes you get some of them but it’s okay because you have another chance. Now in ten pin bowling you get two balls, ok? Two balls. So if I want to knock down all of the pins; let’s just walk through this together. I have the ball, like I kind of go up to the lane. Where do I throw the ball if I wanted to hit all the pins? The middle or a little off, a little off. Those arrows on the ground? I like to aim it kind of like, the arrow to the right of the center because I’m, because I’m a little bad. I like to not follow the rules sometimes. So anyways, you roll it down the middle and like I say, sometimes you get them sometimes you don’t. But if you do, if you do roll it down the middle and you don’t knock the ball down what pins are often left standing? The outsides. So this is called the seven ten split. The seven ten split is the hardest shot in bowling. You can be an amateur or professional or an Olympic… is there a bowling in the Olympics? You can have your PhD in bowling. You can get coached, you can practice, you can get feedback. It is still the hardest shot in bowling so I really, I really wanted this metaphor to work so I did my research. Professional bowling has been televised for 55 years. Okay? How many times in 55 years has that shot been made successfully on television? Three. That’s it. It has only been made successfully three times. It is almost impossible. Because what you have to do is you have to throw the ball, it has to hit the outside of one of the pins but if you miss you get the gutter and you don’t get either. But if you get it, it shoots the pin off the backboard. I didn’t even know there was a backboard, and it pops out and hits the other pin. It is so hard that, what even professionals do, is usually they kind of step back and they’re like “Uh the split “and they choose one. They do it the safe way and they throw it down and they get one and then there’s a pin left standing staring at you. Here’s my question. One minute with your neighbour. How is bowling like teaching? We aim for the middle. Absolutely. We aim for the middle and then we try and get what’s left over. But if we think about this in terms of; the ball is the teacher or the lesson or the curriculum and the pins are the kids, we kind of like throw our lesson at them. We get kind of most of them, but then the kids that are left… well we used to have an EA that could get one and we could get the other… and we use have supports that were the bumper guards. But then those were taken away last year and so we kind of do the best that we can but who are the pins left standing? There are kids that need the most support and there are kids that need the most challenge and they stare at us. And so the chances of getting both of them are very, very slim and so we have to choose sometimes. But the reality is we do the best we can. We’re professionals. We’re masters, we’re PhD’s, we’re coached, we get feedback. For the reality is there’s pins left standing at the end of the day. You can be the best teacher in the world and there’s pins left standing. So I call it the professional bowler and I’m like I’ve noticed that you never throw the ball down the middle and I just want to know why, like why don’t you do that? And he goes “Well if you think about it bowling is just a game of the domino effect right?” So one pin knocks another pin down which knocks another pin down. So the bigger domino effect is if you have contact with the most pins at initial point of contact. Look okay, okay. That make sense. So the more pins you hit initially the bigger the domino effect. I totally get that. So he goes “If you aim at the middle you’ll hit the head pin and maybe the head pins neighbor.” So probably your initial contact is one or two pins. That’s not very many when you have ten pins. So he said “If you can come in from the side you can have initial contact sometimes with four or five pins which will then cause a bigger domino effect.” I’m like okay, that makes sense, I get it. But he says “If you were to throw the ball straight at that angle you’d have to be two lanes over and that’s just not the game. So you have to curve it so that it enters in at that angle but from the lane that your’re in. I’m like “Ok Ok” So then here’s my next question. If you’re throwing at an angle where do you aim the ball? Because you don’t aim at the middle because has to come in from the side. You see where I’m going with this? Guess what professional bowler said. Professional bowler said… and let this sink in for a second… you aim for the pins that are the hardest to hit. Think about that for a second. It is more statistically strategic, effective and efficient if you don’t aim at the head pin but you aim for the outside pin. So this makes things fuzzy for me because, I don’t know about you, but when I went to school, and when I went through teacher education, we are taught to aim at the head pin. We are taught to teach to the kids that have two parents, the kids that have three meals a day, with not too many carbs, that have hypoallergenic dogs and limited screen time, who go on after school science walks and collect leaves for their journal, who take a year off of school because their parents want to take them on an experiential a life vacation. We teach to the kids …. …. they don’t even need us. They have their gel pens. If we didn’t even show up they would get eighty-six percent. We teach to the kids that need us the least, because we love aiming for the headpins. We love it cuz they’re the goers and you know what? Go with the goers, but we have to change our aim if this inclusive education thing that’s going to work. Because it actually is easier and more strategic and more effective and more efficient to have the diversity in the classroom. But if it’s going to work we have to change our aim.

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